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Meningoceles, encephaloceles, and meningo-encephaloceles may develop through defects associated with congenital anomalies or through defects produced by tumor, trauma, or surgery. Their initial management, surgical indications, and repair techniques are not universally accepted. We undertook this study to compare the contributions of different surgical techniques and materials to the success of endoscopic repairs of acquired meningo-encephaloceles. We also examined whether characteristics of the patient, the meningo-encephalocele, or the adjunctive treatment influenced the outcome of the repair.
We retrospectively reviewed the clinical charts of all patients undergoing transnasal endoscopic repair of acquired meningo-encephaloceles at our academic hospitals. We encountered 17 patients with meningo-encephaloceles of the anterior fossa and parasellar area; 15 were repaired immediately using transnasal endoscopic techniques. Two persistent leaks associated with hydrocephalus were repaired during a second endoscopic attempt, which was rapidly followed by ventriculoperitoneal shunting. Location and size of the skull base defect, its etiology, and the technique and choice of material used for repair did not significantly affect surgical outcomes. However, the presence of hydrocephalus was significantly related to poor surgical outcomes.